Eleven of the 38 executives we studied had “parachuted” into their analytics leadership positions — meaning they had no previous experience in analytics. The people in this category had previously held positions in engineering and IT. Common strengths across parachute executives include knowledge of cloud computing, project management, mobile systems, telecommunications and security. Moreover, the parachute group is the one with the most doctoral degrees.
What this research shows is that there’s more than one way to move into an analytics leadership position. Regardless of the route, all of the executives in this study shared these three characteristics: management know-how, the ability to identify potential value and holistic views of their organizations.
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